In honor of Mother’s Day, I reiterate the words written over a decade ago to the one I am privileged to call 'Mama.'
Today I have the joy of celebrating my 50th birthday. My heart is overwhelmed with praise and thanksgiving to God for the rich and wonderful life He has given me. Topping my list of blessings is the treasure of being your daughter. Thank you for giving me life. Thank you for tirelessly meeting my needs, joyfully putting my desires before your own, and willingly giving of yourself on my behalf. Today, wherever I go and whatever I do, I am better prepared because you invested your life in equipping me to live mine.
You taught me my life was to be lived for God, and people were to be loved and served. One of my sweetest recollections growing up is your effort to teach me the 23rd Psalm for reciting in my kindergarten program. I am absolutely sure that my heart’s yearning for the Word of God goes back to that beginning. And, you taught me to sing, “Jesus Loves Me.” Every day I experience unspeakable joy in the reality of those precious, life-changing words learned so long ago.
In turning the pages of memories in my mind, I can only smile. Somehow you managed to communicate the delight and dignity of being a lady, while simultaneously giving me the freedom to be a tomboy. Skills of good grooming were taught and enforced, but getting dirty was applauded. Evening gowns and cowboy boots sharing closet space made total sense to you. The smell of gardenias, the joy of coffee with a friend, the treasure of Southern recipes, and the deep love of family I learned to appreciate from you. I am so grateful.
Thank you for the high priority you have placed on communication. You demonstrated there is simply no substitute for time spent together. All those hours logged in the car driving from our country home into town provided the perfect opportunity for meaningful conversation. Equally as valuable, I cannot recall a single event involving my participation where you did not attend. How amazing!
Whenever I have needed assistance or advice, you have been my ready confidant. You have never, and I truly mean never, been too busy for me. Distance has only served to enhance the warmth and assurance of your love and involvement in my life.
Mama, I learned from you that there is not higher calling in life that to be a wife and mother. In you, I found the perfect model. You are so incredibly unselfish. Always, you have been willing to cheerfully sacrifice for the good of our family. And, I might add, you have “written the book” on how to be the ideal grandmother. Oh that I might live to experience the awesome privilege of hearing my grandchildren say the things of me that your grandchildren say about you!
Somehow, in some incredible way, you have always made me feel loved, accepted, and valued. Security and significance have been established at the core of my being because you have made me feel so loved. What a privilege I possess in calling you my best friend.
So, this tribute is for you. It is my birthday, but it is to you I say thank you. Proverbs 31:28 states, “Her children arise and call her blessed.” May this be a day of celebration for you. You are deeply loved and eternally appreciated. To God be all the praise and glory.
I love you so very much,
September 17, 2000
Living with eternal intentionality: What is an attribute you value from your Mother, even though, perhaps, she is no longer living?